Impact of the Level of State Tax Code Progressivity on Children's Health Outcomes

By Granruth, Laura Brierton; Shields, Joseph J. | Health and Social Work, August 2011 | Go to article overview

Impact of the Level of State Tax Code Progressivity on Children's Health Outcomes


Granruth, Laura Brierton, Shields, Joseph J., Health and Social Work


Social work has a history of caring about the health of children (Axinn & Stern, 2008; Karger & Stoesz, 2008; Petr, 1998). Trattner (1994) noted that in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, children were seen as deserving of social work intervention given their dependent status and the opportunity to ensure their optimal growth and full participation in society. Children remain of great concern to the social work profession, because they continue to be at risk for negative life outcomes (Annie E. Casey Foundation [AECF], 2007; Petit, 2006, 2008). Today, federal, state, and local governments share financial responsibility for providing programs and services to promote child welfare; most of the funding for these programs and services is raised through tax revenue. Although the responsibility for child welfare has varied among government levels throughout American history, currently state governments are responsible for a large share of programs and services costs. Policy devolution remains politically popular despite the recent economic recession.

The purpose of this study was to address a segment of state tax policy that has not been examined--namely, the impact of the level of state tax code progressivity on selected indicators of children's health outcomes. Progressive taxation often is assumed by some to be good social policy on its merits because it conforms to a distributive social justice perspective. In this manner, taxation should not unfairly burden those in society with the least resources. However, many progressive tax policy advocates do not link tax code structures to measureable outcomes. This study examined whether children living in states with more progressive state tax codes were healthier than children who were living in states with more regressive tax codes. Although many other aspects of state tax policy have been studied by economists, political scientists, and lawyers (for example, Cassou, & Lansing, 2004; Farrelly, 2004; Mehrotra, 2005), the field has not been well-explored by social workers.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Health Outcomes for Children

Child welfare was formalized as a primarily federal responsibility with the Aid to Dependent Children and Mother's Pensions program, passed as part of the Social Security Act of 1935 (2009). Prior to this legislation child welfare was a state or local responsibility. From 1935 until the mid-1980s, federal government involvement in child welfare programs increased. Currently, due to increased devolution of federal government programs, many child welfare policies and programs are becoming, once again, primarily a state and local government responsibility. Federal devolution was not entirely a "push down" from the federal government to unwilling state governments. Many state governors had lobbied for greater control over social programs, believing that state governments could devise more appropriate responses for the needs of their residents than a federal "one size fits all" approach. Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson led the charge in developing new state programs for families and children that later became the basis for the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (Haskins, 2008).

Unfortunately, children's health may be affected by their state of residence. For example, Petit (2008) found that infant mortality rates, child death rates, and the likelihood of a child not having health insurance (among other indicators) vary significantly by state, leading to what he identified as a "child well-being gap." Petit identified several elements that contribute to poorer health outcomes for children. These elements include poverty, race, and education. Children living in states with higher rates of poverty and a higher proportion of children who are from racial and ethnic minority groups tend to have poorer outcomes. Petit also identified a state's political culture, the amount of revenue collected through taxation, and declining federal investment in child welfare policies as contributing elements. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Impact of the Level of State Tax Code Progressivity on Children's Health Outcomes
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.